Pastors & Porn

Having read the excellent article "Tangled in the Worst of the Web" [March 5], I fear the statistics are low. The article states that only 33 percent of clergy admit to ever visiting a porn site and that, of those, only 18 percent (about 6 percent of all clergy) admit to being at a site in the past week.

My unscientific research—asking pastors I know—reveals a much higher percentage. One would think it would be harder to confess in person than in a survey, but since part of the porn problem is secrecy and denial of sin, many men will not be honest even if they are assured anonymity. Men also tend to minimize their sins and their frequency. A face-to-face, but loving, encounter may produce greater accuracy.

It is safe to say that even if the article's statistics are accurate, there is a major problem in the church. Considering the survey also revealed pastors believe that prayer is their first line of defense, the problem is even more pronounced. As the article reveals, it is only through honesty, confession, accountability, and even counseling that men can gain any kind of consistent victory over porn.

As discipleship coordinator at Harvest USA, which ministers to those affected by pornography and homosexuality, I can confirm this. Prayer alone allows men to continue to sin in secret, pray about it, and sin some more. Prayer becomes part of the sin cycle and only makes matters worse due to our deceitful hearts.

Confession and accountability put the feet of faith on prayer. I encourage all the men out there struggling with porn and masturbation to come into the light of the gospel. Jesus is a merciful Savior.
David E. Longacre
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As a porn addict from ages 12 to 26 and a youth minister of almost ...

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